Rare award presented to Burnley teenager who saved her mum's life

A teenager has been presented with a rare award after she saved her mum's life when she collapsed at their home.

Wednesday, 3rd October 2018, 10:45 am
Updated Wednesday, 3rd October 2018, 11:53 am
Alyssa Bristow with her mum Amanda and the award she received for saving her life

Alyssa Bristow was presented with the Junior Life Saver certificate from the Community First Responders organisation and she is believed to be only one of three recipients in the area to receive the accolade in the last five years.

Alyssa who is 15 and a pupil at Burnley's Blessed Trinity RC College, stayed calm after her mum Amanda collapsed with what was later diagnosed as a bleed on the brain at their home in Harle Syke in July.

She rang the ambulance service and the first responders said that without Alyssa’s swift action her mum may not be here today to tell the tale.

Alyssa with her parents, Amanda and David and first responders (left to right) Shaun Sproule, Jonathan Rawcliffe and Paul Helps.

“I am so proud of her,” said Amanda, 45. “She found me on the floor on my bedroom and thought I had fallen out of bed.

“I can’t remember much about it except screaming at Alyssa thinking she had woken me up.

"I didn't realise I was on the floor. The first responders said that without Alyssa’s quick-thinking, it could have been a different outcome.”

Alyssa is a multiple kick-boxing world champion and her mum has been kick-boxing for five years. The duo had both taken part in the World Championships in Barnsley.

Amanda added: “I came home and felt fine after competing even going to work on the Monday before collapsing later that evening.

"I had all the correct protective gear on, head-guard and gum shield. I was extremely unlucky and it's rare to come away with such an injury.

"I love kickboxing and think its a fantastic sport. I now can't compete but would never stop Alyssa competing.

"It was my choice to take part and what happened was unfortunate but as with all sports there are risks.”

Recalling the dramatic night, Alyssa said she knew something was seriously wrong when she heard a thud from upstairs as she was watching television.

She said: “I was downstairs, I was waiting for the Love Island Final, and I heard a thud upstairs. I could hear my mum groaning and I recognised that she had had a seizure.

“I was crying as I knew it was serious, I tried to get hold of my dad but couldn’t, I rang my mum’s friend and my aunt and called an ambulance.

“I tried to keep my mum awake and sat her up. She couldn't recognise me at first.

“When the first responders came, she had another seizure and it was horrible.”

Amanda was diagnosed with a bleed on the brain and rushed straight to Blackburn Royal where she spent the next two days.

The first responders, Jonathan Rawcliffe and Paul Helps who are part of the Pendle, Padiham and Burnley Community First Response Team were first on the scene. They are part of a team of volunteers trained to attend certain types of emergency calls in the area and their aim is to reach a potential life threatening emergency in the first vital minutes before the ambulance crew arrives.

Jonathan said: “Alyssa saved her mum’s life, it’s as simple as that.

"Alyssa identified that help was required and rang the emergency services straight away which was vital.

"She stayed calm, she didn’t panic and that was crucial to her mum’s health.

“We arrived, assessed the situation and her mum had another seizure so it was straight to hospital."

The duo, along with their Emergency Medical Technician Shaun Sproule, went to Alyssa'a school in Ormerod Road to present her with the certificate.

“These are exceptionally rare,” said Shaun. “I think only three have been given out in the last five years in the area.

“As first responders, it’s emotional to be here and see Alyssa and her mum but we wanted to be here, it's a good positive outcome."

Alyssa'a dad David added: “I am so proud of Alyssa, she saved her mum’s life.”